Known for it’s virus fighting capabilities, elderberry syrup packs a powerful punch to the cold and flu! And it is so easy to make your own!
Cold and flu season is right around the corner!
Well, not exactly, but it is a great idea to be prepared ahead of time so you know what to do if and when a virus does attack your house.
I wasn’t actually planning on posting elderberry syrup for at least another month, but as it happens, there is a local outbreak of the hand, foot, and mouth virus in our area pretty bad. I wanted to give my girls’ immune systems a bit of an upper hand against it in case it happened to spread to us, so we have been enjoying plenty of bone broth based soups, making sure we stick to bedtimes for our rest, taking our probiotics, and I also made up some of this elderberry syrup.
Elderberries are well known for specifically being very powerful against viruses. Elderberries work well at giving the immune system a boost to fight off the flu faster and more efficient.
I like adding rose hips to the simmering pot of elderberries since they are a good source of immune supporting vitamin C. It has a very pleasant, kid friendly taste as well so it works well in this syrup.
- ½ cup dried elderberries
- ¼ cup dried rosehips (optional but gives additional immune boosting vitamin c)
- 3 ½ cups filtered water
- ¼ cup or more to taste raw honey (optional – if you plan to give this to your one year old leave this out as raw honey is not recommended until they turn 2. Your "syrup" will be a little runnier but you will still have the benefit of the elderberries.)
- Put the elderberries, optional rosehips, and water in a small pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a low simmer for 45 minutes WITHOUT a lid.
- Turn the heat off and mash up the elderberries and rosehips with a potato masher.
- Strain out the elderberries and rosehips and give them a good squeeze to get all the liquid out. Either strain in a tea towel and squeeze, or a mesh strainer and use a spoon to squish them down. A French press works well too.
- Store the syrup in a pint mason jar in the fridge for 3 months.
- Doseage while ill is 1 tsp hourly for children, or 1 TB for adults. When we are not ill, but it is during the cold and flu season and we may have been around some virus/flu, I will give 1 tsp daily for a week to the kids, and 1 TB daily for a week for my husband and I for preventative measures.
- I actually prefer to use my French press to strain out the syrup. I use it to make herbal infusions/teas, and of course coffee too.
- Here are my tips on serving it to the kids! I use a medicine syringe because the syrup stains. They do take it off a spoon no problem but I just have accidently dripped too many times and ruined shirts! It is also delicious stirred into soaked oatmeal with berries, smoothies, popsicles, or whole plain yogurt!
- Here is a trustworthy source for your elderberries and rose hips if you don’t have them locally foraged.
- Here is a recipe for nourishing cold bug fighting bone broth to help your family through an illness. Slow cooker method too!
- Other things I like to use during illess is this properly sourced vitamin C. I do also use this vitamin D3 liquid daily even when not ill. Fermented cod liver oil is the best source for vitamin D, however some in my family do not tolerate it well, so I have the vitamin D dropper on hand. I have brought my D levels from in the low 20’s to well above 60 using the liquid D3 in the last year. Living in an area where we only see the sunshine 6 months out of the year, we really need to supplement vitamin D in our family if we want immune systems that function well.
- And since most of our immune system is in our gut, making sure we are eating fermented foods is important to ensure health gut flora. I also like to rotate probiotic supplements especially during the cold and flu season. Rotating helps introduce new flora. Here, here, and here, are the probiotics I like to use.